My Wooden Monkey – answering a question from a viewer

I get a lot of interesting questions from viewers of my courses, and I’m going to start using some of them as material for articles and tutorials posted here on Design is Philosophy. Today I got a question from Pete that I thought is a good place to start. And no, it has nothing to do with web design, development, or anything like that. It’s about my wooden monkey:

I recently took your Intro to WordPress course at The course was very helpful and I have developed a website for a local RC club that I am a member of.

I do a little woodworking as a hobby and was trying to find a little more about your wooden monkey. Is there a link to where the monkey was purchased? It looks like his joints have the ability to move and his feet and hands look like they give him the ability to hang on to something. Finally how big is he?

Thank you,

Mor10 and his Kaj Bojesen wooden monkey
The Kaj Boyesen monkey with my head as a size reference

The monkey in question, pictured here next to my head, is a gift I got from my parents for my birthday a couple of years ago. It’s a wooden toy designed for children that has become a staple of Danish design. Designed by Danish silversmith Kay Bojesen in 1951 it is made of teak and limba and you can move the head, arms, and legs around (they are connected with an elastic band). The monkey is the most famous of his wooden toy designs which also include an elephant that can stand on its trunk, a bear, a dachshund, a parrot and some other animals. You can’t tell from photos, but the wood is not varnished. Instead it is oiled with a natural oil so you can safely hand the monkey to a baby without worrying about it being chewed on. To keep the monkey healthy it needs to be treated with oil every now and then.

You can see the monkey and his buddies at the official Kay Bojesen website but I have no idea where you would get a hold of one in North America.